Governor Timothy M. Kaine on Tuesday applauded the Virginia Economic Development Partnerships Division of International Trade for superior export performance that earned it the coveted Presidents E Star Award for Export Service. President George W. Bush and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez will present the award May 20 to Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Patrick O. Gottschalk and VEDP International Division Director Paul Grossman at the White House.
The Commonwealth is fortunate to have a stellar organization like the Virginia Economic Development Partnerships International Trade Division working to promote Virginias exports overseas, Governor Kaine said. This recognition is based on a continued increase in export performance. The fact that ours was one of only four organizations across the country to receive this esteemed honor is remarkable.
During the 2005-2007 period of consideration, VEDPs International Trade Division assisted more than 100 Virginia companies through its export development programs, Accessing International Markets (AIM) and Virginia Leaders in Export Trade (VALET). The companies in these programs achieved phenomenal growth, in many cases doubling or tripling their export sales. VEDPs International Trade Division also led 228 companies on 46 trade missions to 43 countries, in addition to its daily export assistance. The final year of data submitted for the award (2007) showed an increase in export sales of nearly 20 percent across the Commonwealth.
VEDP is helping to keep America competitive in the global marketplace. I commend them for contributing to last years record in goods and services. Thanks to VEDP and the thousands of others that compete in the global market, U.S. exports last year rose 12.6 percent over the previous year to more than $1.6 trillion making an important contribution to U.S. economic growth, said Gutierrez.
The Presidents E Star Award was created in 1969 to recognize continued superior performance in increasing or promoting exports. Only previous recipients of the E Award are eligible, and the period of consideration covers the most recent three years of export operation. The agencys level of performance must exceed that for which the E Award was given. VEDP received the E Award in the 1970s when it was known as the Virginia Division of Industrial Development. Applications must be approved by the local U.S. Export Assistance Center and a number of other federal agencies before being sent to Washington for consideration.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 21-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion within the Commonwealth, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Belgium, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.